Science

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This page provides information on topics such as curriculum, assessment, rules, and professional development. We welcome any suggestions you may have that will improve this page for individuals working to provide high quality science programs for students. Join the science mailing list to receive updates as information becomes available.  

The Division of Curriculum Standards and Student Support science team provides direction and leadership to Kindergarten (K) through grade 12 science educators in Texas. The science staff does the following: 

  • Assists districts statewide with implementation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for science
  • Facilitates the development and management of state-funded professional development programs
  • Collaborates with the Division of Student Assessment in the development of state science assessments
  • Assists the Division of Instructional Materials in overseeing the  adoption process for grades K-12 science instructional materials
  • Reviews state certifications related to science
  • In addition, the science staff coordinates the Texas Environmental Education Advisory Committee (TEEAC), National Youth Science Camp (NYSC), and the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
  • Science staff also provides on-going communication with the field related to science curriculum and graduation requirements found in Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

Announcements

The State Board of Education (SBOE) gave final approval on April 21, 2017 to the streamlined science TEKS for K-8 science and four high school science courses. The streamlined TEKS are now implemented. The link to the streamlined science TEKS can be found on http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter112/index.html

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

The National Science Foundation, under the direction of the White House, approves the Texas candidates as finalists for the national Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST) award. If chosen as a national winner, the state finalists will receive $10,000 and an all-expense-paid trip for two to Washington D.C. for ceremonies that include recognition from the President of the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.paemst.org.

In Texas, eligible teachers who submit a completed application by May 1, 2019, will receive 25 CPE hours. For questions, contact your Texas State PAEMST Coordinators at
tx_paemst@tea.texas.gov.  

Science PAEMST 2016 Winner Announced 

Denise Koontz, a teacher in the Keller Independent School District has been selected as the national winner representing Texas for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) in science. PAEMST is the highest recognition a mathematics or science teacher may receive for exemplary teaching in the United States. 

As the PAEMST science awardee, Koontz will receive a $10,000 award, a Presidential citation, and a trip to Washington, D.C. for a series of recognition events, professional development activities and an awards ceremony.

For additional information on the announcement of the award, please see the press release at https://tea.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=51539625955.

PAEMST Finalists for 2018

  • Allison Bearden teaches 6th grade science and math at Oakcrest Intermediate School in Tomball ISD
  • Celene Rosen teaches 3rd grade science and math at Barksdale Elementary School in Plano ISD
  • Brenda Williams teaches 5th grade science at Argyle Intermediate School in Argyle ISD 

2019 National Youth Science Camp Delegates

Two outstanding science students were selected to represent Texas as 2019 National Youth Science Camp Delegates.

Gabriela Gonzalez of Tom C. Clark High School in Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, and Melanie Che of the Texas Academy of Math and Science in Denton have been named as Texas delegates.

The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) is a residential science education program that honors and challenges two graduating high school science students from each state. At this camp scientists from across the nation present lectures and hands-on science seminars and linger to interact informally with student delegates. 

Delegates are challenged to explore new areas in the biological and physical sciences, art, and music with resident staff members. Opportunities are provided for delegates to present seminars covering their own areas of interest and research.  A visit to Washington D.C. permits delegates to visit some of the nation’s premier scientific, governmental, and cultural facilities

Gabriela Gonzales and Melanie Chewill be flown to the National Youth Science Camp to participate in this innovative educational program.

More information is available online at www.nysf.com and www.nysc.org.

Professional Development

Statewide professional development opportunities on science topics are available now at regional education service centers (ESCs) and through the Texas Gateway.

Contact the science specialist at your regional ESC for upcoming professional development opportunities.

Professional development opportunities are available through the statewide network of TEEAC Providers.

This network of universities, state agencies, museums, and nature centers helps ensure that teacher professional development offered by formal and non-formal providers is educationally sound and consistent with the TEKS.

Related Links

The resources below address various topics related to the science standards, awards, and organizations.

Science TEKS, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 112, effective 2018-2019

Grades K-5 Science TEKS  (PDF, 122KB)

Grade 6 Science TEKS  (PDF, 26.76KB)

Texas Environmental Education Advisory Committee (TEEAC)

Texas Gateway (outside source)

Benchmarks for Science Literacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (outside source)

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (outside source)

National Youth Science Camp (outside source)

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) (outside source) 

Science for All Americans, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (outside source)

Science Professional Organizations (PDF, 18KB)

Documents

The following documents are provided as a reference for science teachers.

Data and Research (PDF, 90KB)

Laboratory and Field Investigations – FAQ, August 2010 (PDF, 203KB) 

Chemical Safety 2016 (PDF, 265KB)

Safety Information and Resources (PDF, 227KB)

Texas Education Agency Safety Laws and Rules (PDF, 222KB)

Texas Education Agency Science Facilities Best Practices (PDF, 38MB)

Please note the Facilities Standards can be found at http://tea.texas.gov/Finance_and_Grants/State_Funding/Facilities_Funding_and_Standards/Facilities_Funding_and_Standards/.

Texas Education Agency Texas Safety Standards (PDF, 20MB)